Technological innovations have opened new marketing opportunities for brands. Transmedia explores new forms of storytelling, and can be used by marketers to create more engaging content or experiences for consumers.
Interview with Beth Rogozinski, co-founder of Transmedia SF.
L'Atelier: What is transmedia ?
BR: Transmedia is an interesting word and even more interesting phenomena. With transmedia, the story or message is the foundation and this narrative is told and expanded on via many media formats. What makes “transmedia” so different from multimedia or even franchised storytelling – where a book becomes a movie, which becomes a game – is that the transmedia story is unified and expansive – not simply repetitive. Fundamentally, it is multichannel storytelling that heightens the audiences’ engagement, understanding, enjoyment and involvement in and of the story, its characters and messages. Transmedia uses many digital and live storytelling tools – including real life alternate reality play, digital media and games, video, television, social, mobile and a whole host of new platforms that are fast evolving. The end goals of any transmedia project is to delight and engage your audience to the highest levels possible.
Is transmedia a new type of marketing?
Transmedia is truly about engaging audiences in a story or a message – and this is exactly what every brand seeks to do – so yes – indeed – transmedia can and is being used in marketing, advertising and brand building. Every brand has a story it seeks to tell about the advantages of using that brand, it’s highest attributes and the benefits it provides. Good brand managers know the difference between features and benefits – and this is the core of your brand story. Coca-Cola is not sugary fizzy water: it’s true branding started as “The Pause that Refreshes” in the 1920’s and today is “Open Happiness.” Using transmedia techniques, marketers can bring life to these brand messages and expand their brand campaigns across media reaching more and new audiences. Via transmedia, you increase engagement and delight in the story and its message. We see using these new found techniques for brands and products, social movements and events, education and entertainment. There have already been some amazing transmedia campaigns launched and we’re expecting many more on the horizon.
How can brands switch from traditional marketing to transmedia ad campaigns?
A transmedia campaign begins with strategic planning and audience analysis, as do all marketing campaigns. The difference is that transmedia strategies require a deep understanding of the possibilities of using the various tools in parlaying the brand message. If they have yet to develop the required talent in house, agencies are wise to bring on expert “transmedia storytellers” initially and specific media experts once the strategy has been set. The plethora of tools and possibilities make this a very exciting endeavor, but it can also be challenging to figure out what’s right for each specific brand, audience and message. Just because a new technology or media platform is taking off, doesn’t mean that it is appropriate for a campaign. The media has to fit the message and vice versa for the campaign to be effective.